“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” --Mark Twain
Well, dear readers, you cannot imagine where this quote (seen yesterday at Anchors and Masts) has taken me in the last 24 hours. I read those words and my mind was off to the races. The long and the short of it is, I think I am going to Paris…in four weeks…potentially alone. Now for some this might seem like a normal event, however, I have never been to France (or any other European city except London and I am not even sure Londoners consider themselves European..somehow I think not.) But I digress. I have been talking of going to Paris for a few years now. It has been on my ‘short list’ per se.
Why now, you might ask? Well, why not?? I have had nearly two weeks blocked out on my calendar for several months for a trip with friends to Mexico. That trip fell through this weekend and I will be darned if I will let two wonderfully open weeks, set aside for pure enjoyment, go to waste! So, I checked airfare to London. Cheap! Then I checked airfare to Paris (which is where I really want to go). Cheaper!!! In fact, I can go on frequent flyer miles for a total of about $75.
The brave side of me says, “Go for it!” as does my dear, wonderful supportive husband who really has no interest in going to France nor can he disappear from work and home quite so easily. But the insecure side of me says things like, “Are you crazy?” “You only have two years of high school French” “Where would you stay?” “What would you do?” “You don’t even know which side of the Seine the Eiffel Tower is on!”
And then I think of brave, women like Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love), Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations) and Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea) and I realize this could be an amazing adventure…And then the not-so-brave voice steps back in.
So, here I am with a ticket on hold and two weeks to make my decision and just over four weeks to plan a trip. It feels like “sailing away from safe harbor” and I can see my inner sails filling up with the trade winds. My inner poet is saying, “Yes, yes, yes!” My practical side says, “I need to put dinner in the crock pot.”
To be continued…